The World Health Organisation has launched the Community-based Health research, Innovative training, and Services Programme (CRISP) to advance universal health coverage.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, made this disclosure on Monday while launching the programme in Abuja.
She said the programme is a policy response, following the dialogue at the 2022 PHC summit, saying this is much needed right now as the focus globally, has shifted recently to improving the health workforce as an avenue to achieve universal health coverage.
Moeti further reiterated at the last global health Workforce forum convened by WHO in April 2023 calling for more investment in health workers and COVID-19, has shown us that beyond infrastructure, equipment, medicines, and vaccines, we need highly skilled, motivated health workers who will continue to provide care even in the most precarious situations.
“The strength of every health system reflects the capacity and adequacy of its health workforce, which are necessary to deliver quality services to address population health needs.
“Nigeria has over time experienced chronic under-investment in planning, education, training, employment and working conditions of health workers, and the mismatch between education and employment strategies in relation to health systems and population needs are contributing to continuous shortages,” she explained.
She stressed that for a resilient and effective health system, Nigeria must have adequate numbers of health workers who are fit for purpose, motivated to perform, and equitably distributed especially at the PHC level to enhance equity in access to their services.
“The CRISP will tap into the existing human resources for health and bridge the skills gap at PHCs by tapping the expertise at higher levels of care. This needs to be well thought out, so as not to make the PHCs an extension of the tertiary hospitals, but to continue to provide primary health services to meet the population’s priority health needs. The plan to recruit health workers and deployed them to PHC facilities across the country is very commendable,” she said.